How to make your Champagne last!
Here’s yet another reason to drink bubbly all the time:
You can actually keep a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine fresh and fizzy for up to five days. The misconception that you have to finish the bottle in one sitting or it will lose fizz is one of the main reasons why people hesitate to open Champagne and sparkling wine. Most believe that Champagne loses its fizz if they don’t drink it all in one night, but you can keep your Champagne fresh and delightful for up to five days if you know the right tricks.
Best way to keep it fizzy
The first and trick is having a proper stopper. Just by using a Champagne specific stopper you can keep the bubbles fresh for days. Liberating news isn’t it? Two really other important things are to keep it cold and not open it frequently. Pour your glass and get it back in the fridge as soon as possible. The more times you open and close the more effervescence is going to escape. If you have had more than half of the bottle, then transfer the remainder to a smaller vessel (a half wine bottle does the trick). If you put a stopper on a half-full bottle the bubbly freshness is much harder to maintain because there is so much oxygen in contact with the wine.
Best way to chill
You can chill any Champagne quickly with a combination of ice and water. Don’t just stick it into a bucket of ice, and it’s best not to put in the freezer - if you over-chill a bottle you ruin it. Ideally, plan ahead and put it in fridge for 24 hours before serving then the temp is ideal. If you change your mind, no worries, because Champagne can live in the fridge for a long time. The biggest thing that degrades bubbly (or any wine) is light and heat. Taking it out and re-chilling it later is also not advised.
Best way to store
Follow the same guidelines you would with wine - find a dark cool place and keep it on its side. The basement is usually a great location - the back of a cupboard is a good option too. Just keep it away from heat producing appliance; the worst place is on top of a fridge.
Safest way to open
If you really want the bubbles to stay feisty and fresh, it’s best to open your bottle quietly. You want an elegant understated kind of sigh when opening, not a loud pop. Point the cork away from everyone, and yourself, when opening. In some cases (usually when the bubbly isn’t cold enough), as soon as you undo the wire, the cork just flies out. Hold cork with hand and turn the bottle in quarter turns – you are trying to take the bottle away from the cork. Slowly turn bottle, don’t twist the cork, and as soon as you feel it starting to jump then provide some resistance and just barely let it out. If you want to make a show of things you could try sobering.
Best glass to use
Flute or not? The wider the glass the more aromas you will get out of the Champagne, but the larger glass diminishes effervescence, whereas the flute shape keeps the bubbles precipitating up the side. The glass definitely makes a difference on the aggressiveness on the bubbles. I use a big burgundy glass and my wife uses a flute. To get away from losing effervescence quickly, make short frequent pours.
Have a great Festive period and keep that fizz pouring!